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Think Tank: How would you fix the Kings?

What moves would you make?

Welcome to The Kings Herald Think Tank! We've gathered you all together as one of the smartest (even Rob!) and most well-payed (note: there is no pay) Kings-centric think tanks to ever (we're the first one, I'm quite confident) exist!

Today, we'll be tackling the monstrosity of failure that is the Sacramento Kings and this past season. In 2007, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in several years, winning 33 games, and this season and 15 lottery picks later, the squad is on pace to win...33 games. And that's why we need your (very underpaid) help!

Feel free to grab a bagel and coffee as we get started. No sir, that's definitely not a two-way mirror in the back of the room, and Matina definitely isn't standing behind that glass watching your every move. Anyway, let's get started!

Our question today is simple: what specific moves would you make to fix the Sacramento Kings? What needs to happen in the next three to six months to reshape this organization into a contender? To get your thinking juices flowing, I'll kick off the session with a  proposal, so feel free to add your thoughts, criticisms, and alternate plans.

If you take a look here at the flipchart (Hey, I'm a corporate trainer, what did you expect?), the first and most obvious step for the Kings is to fire Luke Walton and hire a competent replacement, of which there are many available. Once that's done, Monte McNair must do everything in his power to shed the guys who can't or won't play defense, namely Marvin Bagley and Buddy Hield.

With those obvious decisions out of the way, the front office must make a call regarding Richaun Holmes, but that call should be pretty binary. If Holmes can be-resigned for their early bird rights, approximately 4 years, $48 million, he's welcome back. If another team with cap space outbids Sacramento, thank you for your service and good luck on the rest of your career.

Finally, and perhaps the most important decision outside of the coaching hire, is what to do with this roster moving forward. Do we rebuild through the draft, do we continue with the depth chart as currently assembled, or do we push for wins right now?

Frankly, this team needs to win, and they need to win quickly. They're losing games, they're losing time, and they're losing fans. It's time to try something this franchise hasn't tried in 15 years of losing - trade for a winning player. Not an over-the-hill veteran with championship experience, not a solid scorer - a player who will help win games, right now. That's a star. That's Brandon Ingram or Bradley Beal or Domantis Sabonis, or whoever else becomes available. That means likely sacrificing the 2021 first rounder, as well as other assets and draft picks, to acquire an All-Star or fringe All-Star contender.

That's how I would fix the Sacramento Kings. What about you?

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April 27, 2021 12:21 pm

First step is for Vivek to step down as controlling owner. Once that happens, miraculously, things will begin to improve.

New coach
Trade Buddy
Only trade Bagley for fair value
Trade Barnes for a first rounder and/or young prospect
Hope to get lucky in the lottery, regardless, the hope is you draft a player who can form a big 3 with Fox and Hali

It’s going to be a busy offseason in Sac.

April 27, 2021 4:24 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Vivek is not going to step down but the rest of what you wrote is spot on.

April 27, 2021 4:47 pm

Yep. Best we can hope for is he allows Monte to do his job.

April 27, 2021 9:28 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Well I gave you your 5th rec and despite what Kayte_Hunter_Fan _Club said (and I’ve come to appreciate her comments) I don’t think anything positive will happen til vivek either steps down or takes a BIG step back.

April 28, 2021 1:21 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

My gut feeling is that if there were any offers of a first rounder or young prospect for Barnes where we weren’t taking back a similarly bad contract, it would have happened already. Maybe his salary being roughly $2m less next season makes it more palatable to another GM though.

April 27, 2021 12:28 pm

1) Fire Matina K (long over due)
2) Fire Luke Walton (obvious)
4) Trade Buddy if the offers are decent – his dribbling and crap decision making are just too much to handle
4) Bagley for cash considerations?
5) Resign Holmes

April 27, 2021 10:15 pm
Reply to  LandParkJimmer

Agree with all; except #4. Everyone seems ready to give up on Bagley / get little to nothing in return for him. He’s so young and if he’s willing to work hard under a new coach, I don’t see many reasons why he can’t be a contributing player (didn’t he lead the team in charges taken this year).

April 28, 2021 1:27 pm
Reply to  LandParkJimmer

I don’t think Matina needs to be fired. If anyone is following her advice on basketball related issues, then that person (or those people) need to be fired.

Last edited 19 days ago by markdog333
April 27, 2021 12:30 pm

As much as we think the clock is ticking, there still seems to be a solid enougfh fanbase.
Old fans may go but new fans come and they may look at sports and the Kings a bit differently that we die-hards at TKH do.

My point is, I think that rushing the attempt to return to relevance, aka a shortcut, is a road to failure. It will be very difficult to bring a star without significant flaws here and the costs will likely cripple the franchise for years to come.

To me:
(1) Monte needs to be empowered and therefore have accountability.
The gap year thing angers me.

(2) Therefore, Monte should have a 3 year plan with clear objectives to be met each season. It’s about getting a good coach.

(3) The coach teaches the right things, establishes a clear identity (in lockstep with Monte) forges a team and holds players accountable.

(4) Monte gets rid of players that do not fit the above-mentioned identity, even if the return is not great.

(5) Take your lumps for one or two (basically tank) and build the team – taking into mind the above-mentioned identity – via the draft, G-league and smart, cheap deals for young players with upside. More Wrights and less Whitesides.

(6) Ownership must give Monte those 3 years (4 with this gap/eavluation year) and give him the tools to succeed.

Looking at it now, this sounds a bit like the current trajectory of the Grizzlies.

April 27, 2021 3:49 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I think this is pretty accurate. We’ve been in the win-now mode for years. Let’s get off that damn treadmill. We need draft capital, period.

Personally, I think we’re more than a fringe All-Star away from being truly competitive. Especially if we’re giving up assets to acquire said fringe All-Star. I mean, are Fox, Hali and Ingram (or Sabonis) turning us into a legit contender? I think the answer to that is a resounding no.

I know many hate the tank, but the tank is the way. We probably blew it this year. Before the season I figured we needed at least TWO top-5 picks to start turning this thing around. I still feel the same way. If we somehow luck out this year then I still think we need a top-5 in next season’s draft.

Moving HB, Buddy, RH, etc for minimal assets is just reshuffling of deck chairs. I think most need to be gone, but the only way I see genuine improvement for this team is top 5 (and probably Top 3 draft picks) in numerous years. Not to mention, those draft picks need to be hits.

In other words, we’re fucked.

Last edited 20 days ago by ScottyPop
April 27, 2021 4:28 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Your point 2 is absolutely correct something I scream for at the beginning of the every year. The Kings never come out with communication that states the goals and objectives of the season. Perhaps that’s why they always seem to be spitting against the way.

April 27, 2021 12:35 pm

Fire Walton.
Make sure Vivek absolutely has no say in bball ops.
Trade Bagley and Buddy for whatever I can get.
Resign Holmes for $14M or less per year.
See what I can get for Barnes. If there’s a good deal, I take it. If not, hold on and have him help win games/trade later.
Keep Metu and make sure the next coach knows to use him.
Depending on draft lottery, I keep the pick to select one of the top-5 picks. If not, I trade it for assets or a young prospect, move back in the draft and take whoever is left of Scottie Barnes, Franz Wagner or Ziaire Williams (I super avoid Jalen Johnson even though Vivek will DEFINITELY want me to select him).

I think that’s about the best one can hope for in one off season. Under the new coach, continued growth from Hali/Fox, and stability, that squad should win enough games to safely qualify for the play-in or better. As we build momentum and a rep for being an up-and-coming team, I kick the tires on trades for a star player, and/or be aggressive in free agency in summer 2022.

April 27, 2021 1:37 pm
Reply to  PhutureKings

Funny – I see Jalen Johnson as the exact type of high risk, high reward type guy that you trade down to take a swing at (I also think people like the idea of Ziaire much more than they like his actual production). If we fall out of that top 5, I think all the players from 5-25 are pretty interchangeable. I’d love to trade back and maybe even pick up a couple of extra picks to essentially throw as many darts at this board as possible. Guys going in the early second round of this draft would’ve been lottery picks last year. Guys like Johnson, Roko Prkacin, Greg Brown, David Duke (bad name, good player), and Isaiah Todd all seem like they could bring a lot to this team so picking up a few of them seems like a very cost-effective way to scavenge some high-upside talent imo.

April 27, 2021 4:30 pm
Reply to  PhutureKings

You just sent the franchise back other 10 years.

April 27, 2021 12:43 pm

1) Vivek steps down as MGP
2) Matina is ousted
3) Luke is fired
4) Trade Buddy
5) Trade Barnes
6) Trade Bagley
7) Don’t go crazy on a Holmes contract
8a) Retain Terrance Davis
8b) Try and retain Metu if the price is reasonable
9) Draft BPA because this team isn’t “set” at any position.
10) Restructure Fox’s contract to make it incentive-laden with the incentives based strictly on meeting various FT% thresholds.

April 27, 2021 4:32 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Points 7 and 9 are really good. Points 4-6 are not specific enough and Buddy may not be tradeable without accepting some liability back.

April 28, 2021 6:50 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Not allowed to restructure Fox’ s contract unless it’s a buyout to waive !

April 28, 2021 8:19 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Restructure Fox’s contract to make it incentive-laden with the incentives based strictly on meeting various FT% thresholds.

This isn’t doable BTB. The CBA specifically forbids this.

April 27, 2021 12:47 pm

think: tank!

April 27, 2021 12:49 pm

1- buy the team from Vivek and Fire Matina
2- Empower monte and give him a 5 year leash
3- Hire a bonafide assistant coach and 5 years to build a culture a la Brett Brown (but not Brett Brown)
4 – poach all of the best scouts out there
5- if pick is outside of top 5, trade back + get and additional asset ie young player or future pick
6 – dump Bagley and buddy (include in #4) if necessary
7 – keep Harrison if can’t get a deal for a young player + future first (offload later at the trade deadline if needed)
8- resign Holmes if the price is right (trade if shit hits the fan by the deadline)

either way, this franchise seems like they are two years away from being two years away

April 27, 2021 12:52 pm

Complete the purge.comment image
And 1 – comment image

Last edited 20 days ago by RobHessing
April 27, 2021 1:43 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

comment image
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April 27, 2021 6:22 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Matina and Vivek:
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April 27, 2021 1:07 pm

Hopefully a lot of the questions heading into the season have been answered…unfortunately I am not sure if that is the case.

What are the best type of pieces to put around Fox and Haliburton to actually win? Does Marvin Bagley fit into the plans of the future?

My plan would be as follows…

  1. Vivek relinquishes control and stops meddling in the front office. Let McNair and Dumars do the jobs they were hired to do.
  2. Fire Luke Walton and hire a good, veteran coach that preaches a brand of basketball that fits Fox and Haliburton’s playing styles.
  3. Hope for some luck in the draft lottery to pick a player that complements Fox and now Haliburton.
  4. Sign quality vets that improve the likelihood of winning with Fox and Haliburton.
  5. Use future draft capital to trade for a disgruntled star to pair with Fox.
  6. Figure out if players like Barnes, Holmes, Bagley, and Hield fit with Fox, Haliburton, and the pick. If they do, keep them. If they don’t, let them walk/trade them for assets.

Therefore, I think the real question is – how do you build a team around Fox and Haliburton that can sustain winning?

I think we need a young, athletic big that is a defensive presence that can rebound and finish putbacks. I think we also need a tremendous amount of help with 3 & D players. Let Fox and Haliburton get into the paint and then find open shooters who can also play Defense. The Kings are not broken, they have a young star and all of their draft assets. If Buddy, Bagley, and Barnes do not fit with Fox, trade them for whatever you can get. The Kings are now in the process of finding a 2nd Star via Trade or Draft to Pair with Fox.

In a perfect world

Fox, Wright, Guy
Haliburton, Davis, Ramsey
Draft Pick, Harkless
Barnes, Metu, Woodard
Karl Anthony Towns (or another big name Big), Holmes, Jones

April 27, 2021 5:15 pm
Reply to  jlandweh

An attempt a KAT is something I’ve been thinking about. Maybe Buddy, Bagley and 2023 and 2024 top 4 protected firsts.

April 27, 2021 6:28 pm

I think Towns is likely ungettable, but given his age and contract status, I think the conversation on the other end is likely everything the Kings have with any value that isn’t Fox, including Haliburton and multiple firsts.

April 28, 2021 11:52 am
Reply to  Carl

Yeah, I have to imagine the Wolves are going to give the DLo, KAT, Edwards, 2021 1st at least one full (healthy) season to see what they have.

April 28, 2021 2:04 pm

They would be crazy not to. I think we would be ecstatic if we were in their position right now.

April 27, 2021 1:07 pm

I agree with you: Walton gone first. There is no single more-important change that needs to be made. Same with Holmes, you offer what you can, and hope no one offers more. Unfortunately, I think there will be enough money on the table for him to relocate. This will likely be his only big contract, and one can’t blame him for getting everything that he can. If there’s an S&T option, you take a hard look if you aren’t getting millstones back. No sense taking on onerous contracts if the players can’t possibly perform to them.

I’m not really sure how to proceed in hiring a new coach. I think that whomever is brought in should also speak to De’Aaron Fox, and that Fox should be on-board with whomever is hired. Fox is a smart guy, wants to win, and won’t be deterred from approving a coach with a differing philosophy if he sees the overriding value in it. I do think that he’d play for a coach that he didn’t necessarily like, if the results are there.

There would appear to be viable coaching options already in-house, but my inclination is to sweep clean, and give a new coach carte blanche with his staff. Get rid of as much baggage as possible.

You keep Barnes & Hield available for potential trades, ideally for young assets or picks since folding them into something that brings back a all-star level player is a lot to ask. I was just thinking that in the same way that elite talent bunches up in a few places, the same is true with a lot of future draft picks. Houston, and OKC in particular have a legitimate chance to draft and/or flip picks into something pretty good. Commitment to the tank can pay off.

Bagley isn’t likely to generate a lot of trade interest, and if he’s here, I think that he has to play. It’s a lot to hope that he becomes a more well-rounded player in year four, but with an actual offseason, not impossible. I just want him to stay healthy, and if he plays his way out of Sacramento, then so be it.

It’s a talented draft, but doing as well as in 2020 is a pretty big ask. I’m very much about BPA, but assuming that there isn’t a dramatic difference when your turn arrives, I’d like to get a center or power forward. I think Jones and Metu could be solid backups going forward, but even if Holmes is retained, you still need a Big Ass Center™. A free agent signing or trade to facilitate such an acquisition are equally good avenues, but I’m not expecting a rookie to move the needle anywhere as much as Haliburton has.

Let’s get Woodard healthy, and let’s get him some minutes. There’s no other way to fairly evaluate players, and I would consider it a failure if he wasn’t given the opportunity to prove that he belongs.

My assumption in your question is that you’re asking what I would do as GM, so I’m not going to indulge in any of the fantasies about Ranadive or Kolokotronis being ousted.

Other than a new coach, I’m not sure how much wiggle room there will be to make truly substantial upgrades, but I’m frequently wrong, and would enjoy continuing my streak.

April 27, 2021 9:41 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I was just thinking that in the same way that elite talent bunches up in a few places, the same is true with a lot of future draft picks. Houston, and OKC in particular 

Those draft picks are in those bunches because other teams traded them there for Elite Talent.
Without elite talent you trade OK players for OK picks. Sacramento is worse off than an expansion team. It will take years 3-5 luck no luck to get the talent assembled to go on a run, and then trade those players for the mass of picks you hope for. Sad but true, Holding DMC, not drafting Luka, and thinking we can fix this in less than another 3 years is foolish Vivek Shit.

April 27, 2021 9:51 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Sims. Shit. Good stuff as usual. My only question for you is: Do you believe this team will truly improve as long as vivek is the one making the final decisions? I understand that it’s almost impossible to get rid of him but the questions still remains

May 4, 2021 4:28 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

Sorry, John, I just saw this.

I’m not one of the people that believe that Ranadive has his hands in every basketball decision, I just don’t. He made a titanically stupid decision in handing a professional basketball franchise to a guy with no experience, but I don’t think that the long list of stupid individual decisions VD made were as a result of meddling by his boss. And I’m talking everything from the disastrous trade with Philly, to selecting Bagley over Doncic. Divac announced far in advance of the draft that he’d take Bagley, and left pretty much all of us hoping that he was full of shit.

And it turned out that he was full of shit, but not in a good way that was helpful to the team.

I think the same holds for McNair. This is a guy who had a primo job with a great franchise, and even with the earthquake in Houston, it’s not a stretch to think that Monte would have remained at Morey’s right hand in Philadelphia. No one who’s reached that level in the NBA is ignorant about the nature of the Sacramento franchise; it’s a joke.

It’s important to remember that when you interview with an employer, you’re also interviewing them. McNair may have wanted that first gig as GM, but he didn’t need the job. What we know of McNair indicates that he’s a bright guy, and I think the odds of him not stating plainly where he drew lines in the sand about owner involvement in basketball decisions has to be hovering around zero.

The conspiracy theories revolving around Ranadive border on extreme paranoia. Apparently, he’s a very stupid man who started with nothing, but managed to become a billionaire without inheriting a dime. On the other hand, he’s an evil genius who is purposely sabotaging the franchise, and is behind every bad thing that’s happened since he took over, because…reasons.

I’m certainly open to having a different managing partner, but people don’t get to the point where they’re being considered for that unless they have gigantic egos. It’s like running for president. You really think you’ve got what it takes to steer this thing competently?

CEOs and politicians have the highest percentage of psychopaths of any profession, which goes a long way in understanding the state of the country and the economy. I’m fairly certain that Ranadive isn’t happy with the state of things here, and I think that it’s possible that he’s learned some lessons from these failures. I believe that the McNair hire is evidence of that.

You’ll find no more consistent pessimist than me, but that’s based largely on things that I know, or can reasonably infer. McNair inherited a very limited sandbox in which he could play, and he’s digging his way out of it. There will still be a cap problem next year, unless something drastic happens. I remain in favor of doing nothing when the alternative is doing something stupid. There are absolutely times to take risks, but if you’re doing them primarily so that you don’t appear complacent, then you had no business being in a position to make decisions in the first place.

April 27, 2021 1:09 pm

Can you fire the majority owner?

Asking for a friend.

April 27, 2021 1:35 pm
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

I jest. Sort of. I think that Vivek and his minions are a big part of the problem, but realistically I don’t see him going anywhere. He just needs to keep his paws off the day to day basketball operations.
That being said I think you definitely start with the coach. Walton has been an abject failure. He needs to go the day after the season is over if not sooner. Monte needs to hire a coach without interference from Vivek. (I can dream can’t I?) Said new hire would be a veteran coach with a proven track record and know how to institute a defensive philosophy which would be something entirely new to the Kings organization.
As for player personnel you definitely build around Fox and Haliburton. I would do everything in my power to resign Holmes. He brings an intensity and hustle to the floor that this team needs. I hope we package Buddy & Bagley and try to move the both of them at the same time. It may be our only hope of unloading Bagley for something approximating fair value. Sort of a 2 for 1 thing. I would keep Barnes as he’s playing well in his prime and his contract going forward will hurt less. If the front office does come upon a great trade for him next year then address it that time. Let Whiteside walk at the end of the season. Go after a couple of impact free agents in the off season and draft well.
That’s all I’ve got.

April 27, 2021 9:14 pm
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

Not part of the problem—Vivek is the problem. He is why the Kings are atrocious. He is why we trying to fix an unfixable situation until he backs off or leaves.

It’s Not hard to be good It’s a joke actually.
1-hire smart/good GM-hoops people
2-let then make the basketball decisions.

And obligatory F Vivek for putting us in this hole.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 1:57 pm
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

Remember, he is not the majority owner. He is the managing partner of the majority group. From my understanding, the Kings do not have a single owner who solely owners more than 50%.

April 27, 2021 4:56 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Thanks. It was kind of a semantics thing but I get your point. Makes one wonder where the rest of the majority group are during this cluster and what they think.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 4:58 pm
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

From your mouth to God’s ears. I think we all wonder what the rest of the group is thinking.

April 27, 2021 5:09 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Do you still have your contacts in the ownership group? What do they say?

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 5:16 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Not much anymore, just speculations on speculations. Nothing like the Seattle saga days.

April 27, 2021 9:14 pm
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

He is the managing general partner which means he has control and unless he sells his part nothing can or will change !

April 27, 2021 1:20 pm

Tim’s plan seems reasonable. I don’t know if I’d put a hard-ish deadline of this offseason for making the big move though. In my mind, I think the King would have more flexibility on who to target in the theoretical mega trade a year from now when the cap sheet is a bit more manageable. If I were GM, and assuming I have all the various cap machinations at my disposal, then I’d focus on building a deep team that can legitimately fight for the playoff next season. I think it’s important to establish that a Fox centric team can win before making the mega trade. That would allow them to chase “stars” that are on the verge of free agency in addition to players that have guaranteed max deals for multiple future years. That could mean players on a rookie scale going into RFA, players that has a player option in 22-23, or players with Bird Rights that will become a UFA in 22-23.

The FA pitch is a bit more straightforward and compelling, to me, if the incoming “star” believes they’re being added as the final piece to make deep playoff runs versus the piece that will help get the Kings back into the playoffs.

April 27, 2021 1:25 pm

Step 1: Fire Walton
Step 2: ????????
Step 3: Oust Vivek as controlling owner of the team
Step 4: Profit.

April 27, 2021 1:29 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

On a serious note, I know we all love Richaun Holmes but are we all gonna love Holmes’ contract a year from now when he has 3 year, $36 million on the cap sheet and still is more of a backup center on a good team rather than a starting center on a bad one? I know there’s very few pieces worth hanging on to on this team but I feel in our psychological disposition to avoid losing those pieces, we may saddle ourselves with another contract that prevents us from maneuvering for better ones in the future.

April 27, 2021 1:26 pm

Sell the team and move them to Seattle?

RATS, already tried it.

OK, OK, OK. Hire former players from the glory days???

They tried that one too?

Welp, I’m out of ideas.

April 27, 2021 1:37 pm

Congratulations on your ascension to managing partner.

April 27, 2021 2:59 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

A flawless plan!

April 27, 2021 1:33 pm

This should be called the Kink Tank.

that’s all I got

April 27, 2021 1:39 pm

I agree with most of that. Although I might prefer to draft a good player with the 2021 draft pick.

April 27, 2021 1:44 pm

Step 1: delete the Sacramento kings app from your phone, tablet, tv devices, etc

Step 2: block any sites that writes about the Sacramento kings

Step 3: gather all your Sacramento kings gears, books, and clothing and store them in a locked box and put it as far away as possible so you don’t ever see it

Step 4: find something meaningful to do that has nothing to do with watching the Sacramento kings play, for example, do some volunteer works, learn a new language, read books, outdoor activities, spend time with family, etc.

Step 5: reduce your opportunity talking to your Sacramento kings friends and family. If you do talk to them, always mention this is a “Sacramento kings free zone” meaning no kings talk whatever unless they win a championship

April 27, 2021 4:49 pm
Reply to  02kingsfan

Most sensible comment on the thread.

April 27, 2021 1:48 pm

Fire Luke
Trade Buddy for a bag of chips
Trade Bagley if you can get a 1st for him
If still on the team, don’t give Bagley an extension. Let him walk if you can’t get value for him
If still on the team, move Bagley to the bench
If Bagley complains, send him home
Keep Barnes unless a high value pick or impact player is available for trade

Fire Vivek

April 27, 2021 3:32 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

If I understand this correctly:

Trade a career 40%+ three-point shooter for whatever.
Trade a yet-to-establish-himself prospect, but only for a first-round pick?

Did I miss anything?

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 4:34 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

To be fair, JJ Redick is a career 41% three point shooter, has been traded multiple times, and has never made the kind of money Buddy is about to on his current deal. For reference Redick has made just under $120M in his 14 year career. Buddy will have made roughly the same amount by the time his deal ends, which will be his 8th year.

Buddy’s contract is what makes his 40% career 3pt shooting less valuable. I totally value his shooting but not at the cost of his deal or defensive weakness. That is why I’m comfortable for moving him for pennies on the dollar.

April 27, 2021 5:00 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I love it when you’re being sarcastic, too much fun!

April 27, 2021 8:44 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Buddy is only a 40%+ three point shooter. Everything else he does not do creates negative value.

For how many years can the Kings call Bagley a “yet to be established player”?

Bagley has some sort of future in the NBA but it is not the Kings that can get him to that point. Bagley needs to be on a team that can develop him with zero expectations. The Kings need a player who has realistic abilities instead of “potential upside”

April 28, 2021 8:16 am

I would like anyone who feels that Buddy is worth $60M the next 3 seasons and Bagley is work $26M the next 2 seasons to raise their hand.

April 28, 2021 8:24 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

The 26M implies Bagley signs his QO. He probably won’t, almost no player does for a reason.

April 27, 2021 2:03 pm
  1. Move on from Walton
  2. Move Buddy and Bagley
  3. Resign Harkless, Davis, and Holmes
  4. I like how active Harkless is defensively. He knows his role and we need more players that understand that.
  5. Davis replacing some of Buddy’s production and being way cheaper is a plus for me. We’ll see how his next few years go.
  6. I like resigning Holmes to play PF and from $10-14M.
  7. This means getting a shooting C or Holmes expanding his range. Holmes playing C situationally works for me.
  8. Entertain trading the pick or draft a good player (hopefully).
  9. I am not in the market to trade multiple first-rounders, but McNair should be on the phone if a quality player is available.

The truth is, we are set back from the Vlade years. McNair will need to hit on a draft pick plus a free agent or two just to take positive steps forward.

Here are some players I would kick the tires on Mo Bamba, Myles Turner, Damontas Sabonis, Al Horford (if picks are coming back), TJ Warren, Kyle Anderson, Christian Wood, Marcus Smart, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, and Alex Len.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 2:11 pm

My spitballed plan:

1) Fire Walton

2) Hire the right coach and not a big name retread. Fuck no to Alvin Gentry. I’m thinking a legit assistant ready to take the reins for the first time or a college genius ready to make the leap to the NBA.

3) Do not spend in free agency. Kings should never rely on free agency. Build through the draft and trades.

4) Move Buddy for whatever you can get for him, even if it’s pennies on the dollar. Get out of his deal and start Hali next to Fox. Buddy’s skillset can be found more cheaply elsewhere. Moneyball his production with the likes of Davis and Wright.

5) Same goes for Bagley. His ship has sailed so let him develop (or not) elsewhere.

6) Kings can easily live with keeping Barnes if Buddy and Bagley are moved. Only move Barnes if someone is willing to overpay, which may not be until the next deadline.

7) Try to keep Holmes, but do not overpay. He walks at anything more than $12-13M.

8) Be willing to move future pieces if a legit star becomes available, this could even mean moving Fox or Hali.

April 27, 2021 2:41 pm
  1. Fire Luke
  2. Hire one of: *Charles Lee (yes please), Wes Unseld Jr, Brian Keefe, Darvin Ham, Adrian Griffin, Jamahl Mosley.
  3. Trade Buddy to a team with mad cap space in the off season like NY/OKC/SA or for a player roughly same cap but at a more needed position/skill like Lonzo.
  4. Unlikely to trade Bagley for value so new coach makes him earn PT and go from there (trade for bag of chips at deadline if he doesn’t perform).
  5. Resign Holmes (reasonable deal, very likely)
  6. Resign Metu
  7. Sign Korkmaz
  8. Worst case in draft scenario we stay in 6-8 range, hope for a jump.

Main pieces –
Guards: Fox, Hali, ?
Wings: Barnes, Korkmaz, ?
Bigs: Holmes, Bagley, Metu

Depending on trade with buddy and the draft pick it could be a solid 9 man rotation with a decent mix of vets and youth under the coaching of a competent person.

Last edited 20 days ago by MidtownMike
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 2:48 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

I think you’ve hit something on trading Buddy to NY. They have the cap space for him, are in a win now mode with Randle and Barrett, look to have someone solid in Quickley, and will be in need of outside shooting. Buddy makes a lot of sense for them and if anyone can possibly make Buddy a decent defender would be Coach Thibs.

April 27, 2021 2:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

NY has a great cap situation, I’m just not sure how they make the deal work to bring in Buddy with so many small contracts on their books.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 3:27 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Knick only have 7 players on deals next year. They could easily absorb Buddy for nothing, much like the Hornets did with Hayward. The Kings would just be granted a fat TPE, which is good value for Buddy, IMO.

Get out of his dead AND get a $22.4M TPE? Sign me up. Even if they want to attach Knox in the deal, I’d do it. It would save the Knicks a bit more cap space.

It all depends on if the Knicks feel they can do better in free agency than they can with Buddy.

April 27, 2021 3:58 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Knox only on the condition that he’s waived immediately. I was baffled when he was considered to be a hot prospect in college. He’s panned out pretty much as I expected. I should get a cookie.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 4:10 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Yeah, I’d only take Knox if the Knicks insisted on it. He’d simply save the Knicks about $5M next in free agency and would lower the Kings TPE, in that situation. Knox has no value.

April 28, 2021 8:29 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I thought about a Knox for Buddy deal.

Dealing with them in the offseason with their cap space means we don’t have to take trash back like you said, that’s a big plus, especially with a huge TPE like that.

Monte should push for the Buddy to Knicks in the offseason even if it’s just the TPE coming back.

April 27, 2021 4:00 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Huh, just had to double check:

The Knicks GM is still the former Kings employee Scott Perry.
comment image

So Scott Perry has been the GM for the Knicks since July 2017. Will McNair be able to get the Kings to the playoffs (like Perry with the Knicks this season) in a similar amount of time?

My math says that’s about 4 seasons.

Last edited 20 days ago by Kosta
April 27, 2021 5:01 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I was very impressed with what Perry has done in NY, especially setting himself up for the future.

Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2021 5:14 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Yup. 4th seed in the East and over $50M in cap space this summer, which is most in the league. They have two first rounders this year, Barrett and Quickly look good, and they control Randle’s future, not to mention Mitchell Robinson. If Toppin pans out, they have some nice pieces.

April 27, 2021 9:19 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Actually Leon Rose was hired to run BBall as president and he hired Thibs ! Main move !

April 27, 2021 5:31 pm
Reply to  Kosta

What a nice job so far in New York. It must have been the tutelage of a former Serbian center….

April 27, 2021 10:45 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I agree with your math

April 27, 2021 3:16 pm

I believe this team has failed for so long due to the poor culture from ownership/management. Until that gets fixed, I don’t see any long-term success.

April 27, 2021 4:15 pm
  1. Remove Incompetence
  2. Hire Competence
April 27, 2021 5:08 pm

This may be a little pie in the sky but maybe not. I’m hearing Dallas has become disenchanted with Porzinges. Perhaps there’s a deal out there swapping Buddy for Porzinges. Buddy might be a much better player with Doncic.

I think most people are way overstating what Holmes will get in free agency. I cant think of teams with money that would want him at more than 10 mil a year and I don’t even think he gets that. These same type of conversations were happening when WCS’s contract was up and what we learned was the market was far less lucrative for Willie than the majority thought. Remember he’s not that young, he is undersized and he has no perimeter game.

Plan 1
So trade Buddy and a protected 2023 first for Porzinges.

Sign Holmes for 3 yrs 30 mil with a team option

Use this years draft pick and remaining salary cap to strengthen bench. Sign Serviceable veterans near NBA minimum and young flyers on two year contracts with second year team option. So Harkless, Muscala on NBA minimums. Sign Lou Williams one year 8 mil, Davis 2 years for 6 million with second year team option. Diallo 2 years 10 million with second year team option. Metu 2 years 6 mil with second year team option.

Starting lineup
Fox, Haliburton, Barnes, Porzinges, Holmes

Bench – Davis, Wright, Diallo, Williams, Harkless, Bagley, Woodard, Metu, Muscala, like a Whiteside or Len, plus draft pick (please not Kispert)

Plan 2
Trade Barnes, Buddy, Bagley for draft picks. Sign young flyers on 2 year contracts with second year team options. Davis, Diallo, Metu, Roby, all on 2 years contracts with second year team option. Sign Holmes for 3 yrs 30 mil. Fill out roster with vets on one year NBA minimum contracts. Take on a bad contract like Horford in exchange for a draft pick or young player. I want Roby from OKC one way or another.

Fox, Haliburton, Wright, Davis, Diallo

Roby, Woodard

Holmes, Metu, Horford

draft pick, draft pick, draft pick

April 27, 2021 5:13 pm

Plan 2 in a heartbeat.

April 27, 2021 9:21 pm

Charlotte will offer much more than that ! They are letting go of Zeller and Byombo to free space for him !

April 27, 2021 9:53 pm

I would love to get Roby as well. But it will likely have to be a trade. He’s under Thunder team control for 2 more years. And I really can’t see them just declining there option on him.

April 27, 2021 10:13 pm


April 27, 2021 11:10 pm

Yes, you, the want to be Gm, and I are all interested in him. I didn’t think they would keep all of SGA, Dort, Maledon, and Diallo and they ended up moving Diallo who’s interesting. They have so much young raw talent and so many draft picks that some of that will become available. I thought maybe with Bazely, Pokuseski, Brown and others Roby might be available. I think the secret is starting to get out unfortunately. I’d trade Bagley for him straight across but I don’t think they’d do that now. Not sure what the deal could be but it’s worth an inquiry. OKC will be an interesting team to watch in the off-season. They have a lot of options.

April 27, 2021 5:28 pm

The problems are pretty obvious and have been stressed by everyone here, a core that has mostly played losing basketball, a coach who has proven inept, and too much money committed to average players. How I would fix it is:

1) Fire Walton. Hire a known coach who has had success and actually values defense every night, not just in the preseason press conferences. Look at Thibodeau and what McMillan have done to their young teams. Find a coach who will light a fire under these soft players’ asses. This coach may or may not be there long term much like McMillan has limitations and has never stuck anywhere long term but he can lay the foundation. There’s a few names that come to mind: MARK JACKSON, KENNY ATKINSON, a Quin Snyder disciple, or a Popovich disciple. The players respect Jackson and of course I don’t want to imagine the battles he’ll have with Vivek and whoever may be Team Vivek, but if he can change this culture in 2-3 years like he did with the Dubs then it’s worth.

2) Get rid of Divac’s holdovers, Buddy, Bagley, and Barnes for the right price, but Buddy and Bagley can go for any type of value. Buddy and Bagley will prove it themselves that on any other functional franchise they cannot play in this league and the Kings gifted them so many opportunities and minutes they didn’t deserve.

3) Let McNair build the team as he already has a pulse on where the league is trending and he will find the pieces to make smart positionless basketball a thing here in SAC. Get outta the way Vivek!

4) Find a skilled offensive center who can run the offense as well. As much as it is a guard/forward oriented league, the big man is not dead. You just need to find and develop the right one. More opportunities for Fox to be a cutter/scorer and Hali to be a shooter rather than let the offense be pick n roll or die. Too simple.

There we are folks.

April 28, 2021 6:59 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Fox and Holmes are Vlade holdovers as was Bogi ! Did let him walk for nothing !

April 27, 2021 5:43 pm

The Kings are not fixable as long as they remain in Sacramento. The fans and the media do not hold the team accountable for failures. They lose. Yet people buy tickets. If they should eke into the playoffs. the media and the fanbase swoon over their “heroes.” Instead of ridicule, the media gets excited if some D-list celebrity shows up at a game or mentions the Kings.

Face it, Vivek and the other owners of the Kings have zero motivation to invest in making the team great or better. There is no ROI in it. Accept the fact that Kings fans like being the Washington Generals of the NBA.

April 27, 2021 7:14 pm
Reply to  Bill2455


April 27, 2021 5:49 pm

Interesting…the Knicks have the same GM, but a new coach. And they are…winning way more than anyone else expected. So:

Fire Walton

But what about the roster?

First, there is risk in any trade. There is rarely ‘addition by subtraction’, unless you have one really dysfunctional player. Which brings me to:

Dump Bagley

He is really an ego, head case problem, or his dad is. Whatever. I think Buddy is just an elite spot up shooter who is a bit overpaid. Barnes is a great ‘glue guy’ who is even more overpaid, but has done well as a small ball 4. You don’t just ‘dump’ those two.

The biggest problem is defense. But any team plays better defense with better coaching. The answer is not a fire sale. The answer is a balanced language lineup with a bench full of willing role players. That means that right after getting a coach who is good at strategy and player development, they have to:

Patiently build a balanced roster

Keep Holmes? Trade Barnes? Trade for an All Star? All that is subordinate to building a roster of complimentary talents and chemistry, and building it wisely. Everybody repeats ‘best player available’ at draft time, but you can’t have 5 guards. It looks like they have 2 now. So, how does McNair put together a front line that has chemistry with their teammates and the new coach? The draft? Darryl Morley style blockbusters? Both work, but we need size, speed, and defense. Whether he does it with all new guys or some holdovers I don’t care. Just have a plan.

April 27, 2021 9:25 pm
Reply to  Corneroffense

Knicks hired Leon Rose to run BBall ops and he hired Thibs !

April 27, 2021 7:20 pm

If y’all have the chance, check out the The Ringer’s NBA Group Chat pod today. They bring in a writer named Chris Herrington from Memphis to discuss the Grizzlies’ season, and their approach to building around Ja. It’s a really interesting conversation about a player that obviously shares a lot of qualities with Fox. To be honest it’s the type of conversation that we just don’t get here in Sacramento at this point. It’s more of an deep dive exploration of the team building process versus a justification or critique.

April 27, 2021 8:28 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

A deep dive into building around Morant hosted by a bunch of douchie, hipster Ringer staff…no thanks.

April 27, 2021 9:38 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I’m at the point in which I’ve decided to cut down on interacting with the community due to comments like yours. The elephant in the room is this site needs interactions, but lately the interactions drive folks like me away.

April 27, 2021 10:00 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

(and to put it as succinctly as possible: the folks that aren’t even willing to pay a fucking dollar a month to be a part of this community are making it so the people that pay >$20 a month feel like it’s a chore to continue being here)

Last edited 20 days ago by RORDOG
April 28, 2021 9:02 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I agree and you should keep posting, Rordog.

I enjoy other people’s perspective on the Kings and I feel like there has been a ton of downvotes lately and no comments/reasoning behind the votes. It also can be draining to see comments that attack the individual instead of just disagreeing with the opinion. Just my opinion.

April 28, 2021 9:34 am
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

I feel like there has been a ton of downvotes lately and no comments/reasoning behind the votes.

One solution to this is to make upvotes and downvotes public. Then we’ll be able to see which accounts do nothing but downvote, and possibly deal accordingly with accounts like those that are not contributing to the site.

I agree that the tenor of the site has turned to some silly personal attacks and nonsensical arguments. I think those are confined to a subset of people, however.

Last edited 19 days ago by Carl
April 28, 2021 11:53 am
Reply to  Carl

One solution to this is to make upvotes and downvotes public.

I love this idea. I think making it work would be tough technical challenge though. If that isn’t a hurdle, then by all means do this.

May 5, 2021 10:00 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

{Kosta has thumbs up’d Kingsguru21’s comment.}

April 28, 2021 9:33 am
Reply to  RORDOG

what are you getting from this site to pay 20/month for?!?!

April 28, 2021 9:45 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

we get to go on VIP tours of the Lady Bird house each year.

April 28, 2021 10:11 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I should add that I know not everyone can afford to pay to be a patron of this site. I also know other people don’t spend enough time here to justify having a patreon subscription. I just think its pretty lame that other people come here simply to make everyone else’s experience worse. If that’s what you’re into, then at least throw a nickle in the jar to help keep the lights on around here.

April 27, 2021 11:00 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

You really can’t make a generalization like without reading the fucking article. I don’t disagree with your “hipster” critique but I’ve read some good stuff there. Plus dude I’ve got a ton of respect for Rordog’s comments and opinions and by dissing the piece you haven’t read your dissing him. You’re willful ignorance ain’t nothin but dumb.

April 27, 2021 11:50 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

Thanks Bluejohn.

April 27, 2021 10:06 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I haven’t listened to it, but I do think it’s interesting how they’ve seemed to go for young elite prospects at the top of the draft, then have surrounded them with high BBIQ mature players and upperclassmen. We’ve talked before about how, IMO, upperclassmen are generally underrated in the draft. I also think having present skill sets that will play in the NBA (or a “high floor,” I guess) can be underrated. They have targeted a number of my favorite later-1st/2nd round guys (Bane, Clarke, Tillman) as well as some UDFAs I really liked (Konchar & Porter).

April 27, 2021 10:48 pm

they get into all that quite a bit. Basically the Grizzlies have done a good job of just finding players that contribute to winning through their late round draft picks, trades, and free agency, but they also managed to use their two high draft picks on players with a ton of upside who complement one another.

April 27, 2021 8:24 pm

Trade Terance Davis for cash and donate the money to women’s shelters.

Last edited 20 days ago by Isaiah Bent
April 28, 2021 9:37 am

This. I genuinely wish the guy the best and hope he’s sincere in wanting to put his personal life back together. I don’t personally want him on the team now or next season.

April 27, 2021 8:43 pm

Finding a good coach should be the #1 priority. We’ve seen that this roster is capable of being solid at times but the alarming inconsistency screams bad coaching to me. Especially when Walton has no answers for it.

Roster wise? I agree with Tim. They have to do something to accelerate this timeline because I cannot imagine De’Aaron Fox be willing to do this for more than another year or two before his camp starts finding him a way out.

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